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National Science Foundation

FYI covers NSF’s major research and facilities programs, with a special focus on the Math and Physical Sciences Directorate. FYI also covers the foundation’s general policy, strategy, and administration, as well as activities of the National Science Board.

2 Feb 2018

At a Senate hearing held to review implementation of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, the directors of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as several senators raised concerns about how rising international competition in R&D threatens U.S. economic competitiveness and leadership in innovation.

23 Jan 2018

While the U.S. continues to lead in many science and engineering measures, including overall R&D spending, China is rapidly catching up with the U.S. in the rankings, according to the National Science Board’s latest Science and Engineering Indicators report.

5 Dec 2017

As the National Science Foundation seeks partners capable of operating the Arecibo and Green Bank radio telescopes with significantly reduced funding from NSF, several Appropriations Committee members are pledging to fight to ensure the facilities remain open, a few of whom argue the agency should maintain its current level of support.

17 Nov 2017

The House Science Committee has approved a package of bills that establish target funding profiles for eight Department of Energy research facility construction projects. The committee also approved four STEM education and research bills, one of which would require federal science agencies to annually report to the National Science Foundation information on the demographics of all R&D grant applicants.

17 Nov 2017

The National Science Foundation plans to create a Facilities Governance Board that will oversee the agency’s major research infrastructure projects at all stages of their lifecycle, from development through divestment.

16 Nov 2017

Republican committee leaders expressed hope that geoengineering technologies could someday address climate change. Democratic members were more cautious, supporting research but emphasizing it should not be viewed as a substitute for emissions reductions or other approaches for combating climate change.

8 Nov 2017

The National Science Foundation has chosen Anne Kinney, currently chief scientist of the Keck Observatory, to lead NSF’s Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate. FYI spoke with Kinney about how she expects to draw on her past experiences as a science administrator once she takes on her new role in January.

25 Oct 2017

William Easterling, who began a four-year appointment at the helm of the National Science Foundation’s Geosciences Directorate this summer, recently outlined how he plans to steer the organization through budgetary and political headwinds.

20 Oct 2017

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced a bill that would make significant changes to peer review and public access policies for federally funded research, such as requiring that a “taxpayer advocate” sit on every grant review panel. Coincident with the bill introduction, Paul convened a hearing at which he asserted that the amount of “silly” studies funded by federal agencies is evidence of a need to reform the system.

19 Oct 2017

Scientists are hailing the observation of gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation from a collision of two neutron stars as marking a new era of multi-messenger astrophysics. It is a field of research enabled by expansive international collaboration between facilities of all sizes, and its first success is likely to lead to the further development of its infrastructure.

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